Integration Models


Definition

An integration model is used to import data from external data sources, e.g. CSV files or databases, to a Service Manager database.

EndDefinition
  • It is built using a connector that indicates the main table fields and the related table fields that can receive data.
    • A mapping is performed between the connector fields and the Service Manager table fields.
    • The search for existing records within the Service Manager database is run using unique keys built using connector fields.
  • Data is integrated when you run the integration model using the Service Manager smoScheduler scheduler.
    • The processing can be run immediately or scheduled.
    • It can be run after a preimport processing that will first run SQL scripts for preparing the data import, e.g. tables purged, data filtered, data standardized, etc.
    • Normalization processing is used to convert external source values prior to their integration in the Service Manager database, in order to standardize them in line with the existing repository.
  • The integration log is used to display all records integrated in the Service Manager database, and errors if any.
  • Integration models can be stored in folders that are organized by function.

Notes

  • You can map a given source field with two different target fields in the connector.

    example  Phone field in the external source mapped with two target fields in the connector, Phone and Mobile

  • You cannot do the reverse and map two different source fields with a single target field in the connector.

    example  The two fields in the external source, Login and Email cannot be mapped with a single target field, Email in the connector.

Caution

  • You should always perform a backup of the Service Manager database prior to running an integration model. This ensures that you can restore the database if there are too many problems or errors.
  • If you want to run an integration model defined using a CSV file automatically, you must ensure that the file always has the same name and is located in the same folder and path. It should be in a predefined folder on the EasyVista) Web server.

Best Practice

  • You should first run the integration model in the test database. This way, you can correct any errors displayed in the integration log before running the integration model in the production database.
  • By default, integration is performed in the language of the logged-in user.
    • You can use a multilingual connector whose name ends with - Multilingual to integrate external data in the six standard Service Manager languages.
    • You can also translate labels into different languages manually in the interface if the integration was unable to update them. Consult the integration log to identify the relevant reference tables.
  • To simplify mapping between connector fields and fields in the CSV file, ensure that the CSV file contains a header row. Otherwise, the fields will be identified by the values read in the first row.

    example  

    • CSV file with a header row: Name, First Name
    • CSV file without a header row: Durand, Peter
  • To reduce the number of manual corrections to be made after data integration in Service Manager, you should correct the external source data as much as possible prior to running the integration.
    • Run normalization processing on the external source data if the integration is intended to update reference tables and catalogs. This avoids polluting the existing repository with duplicate values corresponding to the same reference.

      example  

      • Replace the values, Hewlett P and Hewlett Packard with the value stored in the Service Manager database, i.e. HP
      • Replace the title, Mrs. with the value stored in the titles table, i.e. Ms.
    • Assign a default value to fields without any value in the external source if they correspond to mandatory fields in Service Manager.
    • We recommend you use unique keys built using IDs instead of a string of characters. This ensures that the existing record in the table will be modified and that a new record will not be created.

      example  Location 07 = Office 1 is modified to Office 001

      • The location is retrieved using its ID 07 that exists in the database ==> The label will be modified.
      • The location is retrieved using the new label Office 001 that does not exist in the database ==> A new record, Office 001 will be created. The existing record whose label is Office 1 will not be modified.
    • Separate the levels of Tree fields using the slash /.

      example  Location: Country/City/Level/Office ==> Values in the external source: USA/Chicago/2/205, Canada/Quebec/5/513

    • Enter 1 for a selected checkbox and 0 for a non-selected checkbox.

      example  Employee who is a financial approval manager ==> Value in the external source: 1, corresponding to the Manager for Approval box selected in Service Manager

  • If the running of integration B depends on the completion of integration A whose processing time is unknown (due to large data volumes, access time, etc.), we recommend that you schedule the tasks in a sequence instead of defining a specific time for running integration B.
  • To avoid running an integration simultaneously using the smoIntegration tool and the task scheduler, you should not use the same model. Duplicate the initial model and rename it clearly to indicate that this model is exclusively reserved for the smoIntegration tool.
     

Ensuring optimal network performance

  • Schedule the running of integrations during periods where users do not need to access Service Manager, i.e. at night or on weekends.

Menu access

Administration > Integration > Integration Models

Screens description

Integration model

Step 1: Define the model

       Integration model - Step 1.png

Model Name: Name of the integration model.

Folder Name: Name of the integration folder where the model is saved.

Update: Type of update to be performed in the main connector table.

  • Insertion & Update: New records will be created in the Service Manager database and existing records will be updated.
  • Only Update: Only records existing in the Service Manager database will be updated. New records will not be created.
  • Only Insertion: Only new records will be created in the Service Manager database. Existing records will not be updated.

Data Type: Source of the external data.

  • CSV: Text file in CSV format.
  • datasource: Database. You must click Define to define the database connection string and the SQL query for retrieving the data to be integrated.
        Open url.png See List of connection strings.
             Integration model - Step 1 - Datasource configuration.png
Information Example
Connection string

List of parameters for SQL Server:

  • Provider = sqloledb (for SQL Server).
  • Data Source = Name of the server hosting the database\instance name.
  • Initial Catalog = Database name.
  • User ID = Database connection ID.
  • Password = Database connection password.
Provider=sqloledb;Data Source=EZV_SQL1;Initial Catalog=EVO_BACKOFFICE;
User Id=myLogin;Password=myPassword
Query: Used to select the data.
SELECT * FROM EVO_BACKOFFICE.EZV_ADMIN.myTable

Language: Language of the external values.

  • By default, the language of the logged-in user is selected.

Connector Name: Connector used for building the integration model.

  • Specific rules can be defined for each connector. Open url.png See the description.

Best Practice icon.png You can use a multilingual connector whose name ends with - Multilingual to integrate external data in the six standard Service Manager languages.

Take First Row as Header (Note: Only for CSV files): Used to indicate if the first row in the file contains the field names of the external source (box is checked) or the field values (box is not checked).

Create Log: Used to indicate if a log file should be generated at the end of the integration processing (box is checked) or not (box is not checked).

Best Practice icon.png  Create a log file to view integration errors.

Step 2: Map the fields

       Integration model - Step 2.png

Source: List of fields in the external source.

Destination: List of target fields in the connector. 

  • Map each field in the Source column with the corresponding Service Manager database field in the Destination column.

Default Value: Value to be saved in the Service Manager database if no value is defined in the external source.

Best Practice icon.png  

  • Assign a default value to fields without any value in the external source if they correspond to mandatory fields in Service Manager.
  • To identify records easily after data integration, you can assign a given default value to each of them in one of the available fields.

    example  Identify employees integrated from the LDAP directory: Assign the default value, LDAP in AVAILABLE_FIELD_1.

Step 3: Define the properties of fields

       Integration model - Step 3.png

Unique Key Field (Note: Only for the connector's main table fields that are not referenced in related tables): Connector fields defining the unique key of records in the Service Manager database.

  • The number of unique key fields is indicated in the column header.
  • Two unique keys are required for related tables in the connector.

    example  

    • Unique key (1) = Only one unique key is required ==> Key login for the integration of employees
    • Unique key (2) = Two unique keys are required ==> Attributes table related to the Equipment table

Automatic Insertion (Note: Only for related table fields): If the external source value does not exist in the related table, this is used to indicate if a new record should be created in the Service Manager database (box is checked) or not (box is not checked).

example  The Equipment connector uses the main table, AM_ASSET and the related table, AM_MANUFACTURER. The external source contains manufacturer ABC that does not exist in the related table.

  • Box is checked: Manufacturer ABC will be created in the related table, AM_MANUFACTURER.
  • Box is not checked: Manufacturer ABC will not be created.

Clear if empty (Note: Only for non-Tree fields in related tables): If the external source value is not specified, this is used to indicate if the existing value in the Service Manager database should be reset (box is checked) or not (box is not checked).

  • If the box is checked, only the value of the record will be reset to empty. The record will not be deleted.

example  The title is not specified in the external source for employee Adam Smith. In the Service Manager database, it is Mr.

  • Box is checked: The value of the title will be reset to empty for employee Adam Smith. The Mr. value will be deleted from the Service Manager database.
  • Box is not checked: The current value, Mr. will be kept in the Service Manager database.

Normalization: Used to convert external source values prior to their integration in the Service Manager database, in order to standardize them in line with the existing repository. Open url.png See the description.

  • Unique keys can be normalized.
  • Click the icon to open the Normalization window. The existing rules defined for the connector field will appear. Open url.png See the detailed procedure.
    • Sheet full icon.png: One or more normalization values have been specified for the field.
    • Sheet empty icon.png: No normalization value has been specified for the field.

Scheduling an integration model

Note: These parameters are not taken into account for scheduling integration models using an external scheduler.
         Integration model - Scheduling information.png

Enabled: Used to indicate if the scheduled integration model is enabled (box is checked) or not (box is not checked).

Best Practice icon.png  Do not select this box if you want to schedule the integration model using an external scheduler.

Frequency: Used to define the frequency for running the integration model.

  • The frequency will be applicable after the date specified in the Next Compute Date field. 
  • The parameters depend on the selected frequency.
    • Every [N] Months / Day / At (Hour): Define the relevant frequency using Universal Time (UT).
    • Depends on: Used to sequence the running of two integration models successively. Select the integration model whose processing precedes the execution of your integration model from the drop-down list.

Next Compute Date (Note: Only if the frequency is not Depends on): Date and time at which the integration model should next be run.

  • The date initializes the start of the frequency.

    example  Frequency: Every seven days at 7 am; the next compute date is a Saturday ==> The model will run every Saturday

    Best Practice icon.png  Enter a date earlier than the current date in order to run the integration model immediately.

Integration File: Path of the CSV file to be integrated.

  • Caution: The file must always be located on the EasyVista Web server in the folder called Resources/<Account>/Integration. <Account> corresponds to the Service Manager database where the data should be integrated.

Procedures and Wizards

How to create an integration model

CreationProcedure

Step 1: Create the integration model.

1. Select Administration > Integration > Integration Models in the menu.

2. Click + New.

Step 2: Define the general properties of integration model.

1. Enter the name and folder of the integration model.

2. Select the type of update you want.

3. Indicate the source of the external data.

  • Integrate a file
    • Select the CSV data type.
    • Click Upload and select the file.
  • Integrate data from a database
    • Select the datasource data type.
    • Click Define.
    • Specify the database connection string. Open url.png  See List of connection strings.
    • Enter the SQL query for retrieving the data to be integrated.

4. Select the connector.

5. (optional - Note: Only for a CSV file) Select the Take First Row as Header and Create Log boxes if required.

6. Click Next.

Step 3: Map the external source fields with the connector fields.

1. Select a connector field in the Destination column corresponding to each external source field in the Source column.

  • If you want to ignore certain external source fields:
    • Select the box at the start of each row.
    • Click Minus icon.png.
      These fields will not be deleted. They will simply not be included in the mapping.
  • To reestablish the mapping for a previously ignored external source field:
    • Click Plus icon.png to add a new row.
    • Select the field in the Source drop-down list.
    • Map the external source field with a field in the Destination column.

2. Click Next.

3. Specify the properties of the fields.

  • Select the fields used to build the unique key.
  • Select the Automatic Insertion box to create a new record in the Service Manager database if the value of the external source does not exist in the related table.
  • Select the Clear if empty box to reset the existing value in the Service Manager database if the value of the external source is not specified.
  • Define the normalization values. Open url.png See the detailed procedure.
     

Step 4: Save the integration model.

1. Click Finish.

Note: Blocking errors are indicated in red and the relevant step will automatically be displayed.

EndCreationProcedure

How to normalize external source values

Normalization_Procedure

Step 1: Open the Normalization window.

1. Select Administration > Integration > Integration Models in the menu to open the integration model.

2. Click Next to proceed to step 3.

3. Click Sheet full icon.png or Sheet empty icon.png next to the field to be normalized.

  • Sheet full icon.png: One or more normalization values have been specified for the field.
  • Sheet empty icon.png: No normalization value has been specified for the field.

The Normalization window will appear.
         Integration model - Step 3 - Normalization.png
 

Step 2: Define the normalization values.

1. Enter the external source value in the Value (Source) column.

2. Enter the new value to be integrated in the Service Manager database in the Reference Value (Destination) column.

3. Click Save.

4. Close the window.
You will return to the list of properties for the integration model fields. Sheet full icon.png will appear next to the Source field.

Add a normalization value for the field

  • Click Plus icon.png.
  • Repeat the procedure above to enter the value.

Delete a normalization value

  • Select the box in the relevant row.
  • Click Minus icon.png.

How to run an integration model using the Service Manager smoScheduler scheduler

    Open url.png See How to automate an integration to run an integration model using an external scheduler or third-party application.

Run the integration model immediately

ImmediateIntegration_Procedure

1. Select Administration > Integration > Integration Models in the menu.

2. Click Edit icon.png next to the integration model.

3. Click Next to proceed to the last step of the integration model.

4. Click Execute.

  • The integration model will be placed in the smoScheduler scheduler queue. It will run after the tasks currently being processed.
  • The list of integration logs will appear at the end of the processing.
  • The Succeeded status means that the integration was executed successfully.

5. Check the updated records.

  • Click the Added or Updated link in the Records tab to display the list of updated records.
  • Click the Errors tab to display integration errors and warning messages.
EndImmediateIntegration_Procedure

Schedule the integration

ScheduledIntegration_Procedure

1. Select Administration > Integration > Integration Models in the menu.

2. Click Calendar icon.png next to the integration model.
The window for scheduling the task will appear.

3. Select the Enabled box and specify the scheduling information. Open url.png See the description.

Note: The CSV file must always be located on the EasyVista Web server in the folder called Resources/<Account>/Integration. <Account> corresponds to the Service Manager database where the data should be integrated.

Best Practice icon.png  Enter a date earlier than the current date in order to run the integration model immediately.

4. Click Finish.
The data will be integrated when the integration model is next run.

5. Check the integration log and correct the errors, if any.

EndScheduledIntegration_Procedure

Wizards

Move: Used to modify the folder associated with the integration model.

Specific use cases

  • Integration model based on the Photo Integration for Employees connector. Open url.png See Implementation.
  • Update the Service Manager knowledge base using the integration model built using the dedicated connector called Known errors & Knowledge (Self Help Extractor). Open url.png See Implementation.
Tags:
Last modified by Christine Daussac on 2021/05/28 13:06
Created by Administrator XWiki on 2013/03/14 16:22

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